Use hygiene to prevent styes in the eye

It’s painful, looks like a pimple, and may not be squeezed under any circumstances. This Health Tip explains all you need to know about styes in the eye and how to prevent getting one.
First of all, the most important rule when dealing with a stye (hordeolum) is “don’t touch it!”, because touching it may cause it to become inflamed and spread to the other eyelid.


A stye is an inflammation of the eyelid that is caused by bacteria (staphylococci) and often affects people suffering from diabetes mellitus or whose immune system is otherwise weak. It generally results from poor hygiene and improper care – especially among children who play outside and then rub their eyes with dirty fingers.


At the beginning, the affected area starts to turn red and then becomes swollen, which can be painful when pressed. You may not be able to recognise a stye as such right away, depending on whether it is external or internal. Once it is fully swollen, pus starts to accumulate inside, giving it its typical shape.

But styes are harmless in most cases and disappear on their own, provided you leave them alone. If complications should set in nevertheless, such as the entire eyelid becoming infected, you will need to see a doctor.


  • Touch your eyes with your fingers as little as possible.
  • If you need to do so anyway, be sure to first wash your hands,
  • and always use a clean towel.
  • Furthermore, always store your contact lenses properly.


In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.